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Adjacent dots on the screen may light up as if the dot had moved from one position to the next at a speed
greater than the speed of light, but in fact, no dot moved. Each lit dot is produced by a different electron.
The image of a moving object created by the successive impacts of the electrons on the screen is not an object.
The information carried by the electrons moves from the electron gun to the screen at a speed below that of
light.
It is possible for the electron beam in a television picture tube to move across the screen at a speed faster than
the speed of light. Why does this not contradict special relativity?
Problem 1.2 Physics 107
========================================================================================
When G(v) is "near" 1, relativistic effects are not obvious. When G(v) deviates significantly from 1,
relativistic effects are more obvious.
Notice the rapid dropoff in GG(v) Notice how G(v) falls rather slowly.
0 1
.
10
8
2
.
10
8
3
.
10
8
0
0.5
1
GG v ( )
v
0 1
.
10
8
2
.
10
8
3
.
10
8
0
0.5
1
G v ( )
v
Plot: Plot:
GG v ( ) 1
v
2
cc
2
: G v ( ) 1
v
2
c
2
:
v 0 c 0.01 c , c .. :
cc 3 10
7
: c 3 10
8
:
Set the range of v: Set the range of v:
This column is for c=3x10
7
. This column is for c=3x10
8
.
If c were smaller, then G(v) would differ from unity at much lower velocities v thus making relativistic effects
more conspicuous than they are now. Let's plot G(v) as a function of v/c to see the effect.
The square box at the end of this equation indicates it is just text; i.e., not "live." G v ( ) 1
v
2
c
2

All of the phenomena of special relativity depend upon the factor G(v):
If the speed of light were smaller than it is, would relativistic phenomena be more or less conspicuous than
they are now?
Problem 1.1 Physics 107
1
========================================================================================
Something to think about: what time would an observer who remained stationary on earth measure?
t
0
28.566
t
0
t 1
v
c

,
2
:
t 40 : v 0.7 c : c 1 :
Assign values and solve:
t
0
t 1
v
c

,
2
:
t
t0
1
v
c

,
2

:
Solution: we apply the time dilation equation. An observer on the spacecraft measures a dilated time t = 40
min (why is it the dilated time?). We need to calculate the proper time, as measured by the driver of the car.
An observer on a spacecraft moving at 0.7c relative to the earth finds that a car takes 40 minutes to make a
trip. How long does the trip take to the driver of the car?
Problem 1.4 Physics 107
========================================================================================
This answer ignores the complication of length contraction, which we will get into later in this chapter.
Attempting to account for length contraction would introduce the problem of simultaneity (see the pole-barn
paradox in the class notes). The time measured by the spacecraft observer would not be useable by an earth
observer.
If the observer in the spacecraft times the run by watching a clock in the spacecraft, it appears as if the clock
on the earth ran slow, so that, in fact, MORE time elapsed during the run. The spacecraft observer would
actually measure a longer time.
If the observer in the spacecraft times the run by watching a clock on earth, nothing is gained because the
clock and athlete are in the same reference frame (the athlete's speed is so small compared to c that we can
ignore his motion relative to the clock).
Is it a good idea for an athlete trying to set a world record 100-m dash tie to have his time taken by an
observer on a moving spacecraft?
Problem 1.3 Physics 107
2
========================================================================================
Solution (b): According to B, A is in motion relative to B. Moving watches (relative to the observer) always
run slow. Therefore, B claims A's watch runs slow.
seconds t 3.927
t
1
1
: Calculated t:
1
v
c

,
2
:
v 200000000 :
Or I could say c=1
and v=2c/3.
c 300000000 :
Assign values to parameters:
t
1
1
: Result:
t t 1 : t t 1 : t
t 1

:
Solve the above two equations for t (Let be the square root):
t t
0
1 + : and
t
t
0
1
v
c

,
2

:
The two equations we need to solve are the time dilation equation and the relationship t=t
0
+1.
Solution (a): by A's reckoning, B's watch runs slow. Suppose A has two identical watches. Watch 1 is used
as the timer and watch 2 is used to provide a time interval. If both watches are in A's frame of reference,
watch 1 will measure the proper time t
0
for the time interval. If A gives watch 2 to B, and B moves relative to
A, A can use watch 1 to measure the time t it takes for watch 2 to tick off the time interval. Since the moving
watch 2 ticks more slowly (according to A, who is doing the measuring), A's watch 1 must record a longer
time for watch 2 to indicate the same time interval that it indicated when it was in A's reference frame.Thus,
when the watches differ by 1 s, A's watch 1, which is being used to measure the time t, has ticked 1 more
second. Thus, t=t
0
+1; t is always greater than t
0
.
Two observes, A on earth and B in a spacecraft whose speed is 2x10
8
m/s, both set their watches to the same
time when the ship is abreast of the earth. (a) How much time must elapse by A's reckoning before the
watches differ by 1 s? (b) To A, B's watch seems to run slow. To bB, does A's watch seem to run fast, slow, or
keep the same time as his own watch?
Problem 1.5 Physics 107
3
========================================================================================
Or v=0.866 c, because I let c=1. v 0.866
v c 1
t
0
t

,
2
:
t 2 : t
0
1 : c 1 :
Define the values and plug them in:
v c 1
t
0
t

,
2
:
1
v
c

,
2

t
0
t

,
2
:
t
t
0
1
v
c

,
2

:
Solution: an observer on the spacecraft measures a proper time t
0
=1 d, and a dilated time t=2 d for the same
event as it takes place on the "moving" earth. We solve the time dilation equation for v.
How fast must a spacecraft travel relative to the earth for each day on the spacecraft to correspond to 2 d on
the earth?
Problem 1.7 Physics 107
========================================================================================
You can use c=2.998x10
8
if you want and get a slightly different answer.
seconds t 1.9998 10
12

t
1
1
: Calculate t:
1
v
c

,
2
:
v 300 :
c 300000000 :
Assign values to parameters:
t
1
1
:
As in problem 1.5,
Solution: this is just problem 1.5 with an airplane replacing a rocket ship. Just plug in the new numbers.
An airplane is flying at 300 m/s (672 mi/h). How much time must elapse before a clock in the airplane and
one on the ground differ by 1 s?
Problem 1.6 Physics 107
4
seconds.
========================================================================================
Physics 107 Problem 1.9
A certain particle has a lifetime of 1x10
-7
s when measured at rest. How far does it go before decaying if its
speed is 0.99c when it is created?
Solution: our first job is to figure out that the problem is really asking us to calculate how far a human observer
would observe this particle to travel.
The observer sees the particle moving at a speed of 0.99c, and sees the particles "clock" dilated according to
equation 1.3, where t
0
is the time the observer sees the particle in motion.
We need to calculate d=vt, where v=0.99c and t is given by eq. 1.3. I'm going to include units in this solution.
You could append the file "units.mcd" to for use with this problem. Instead, I will do the units here for you to see.
Define units: m 1L kg 1M s 1T
Define parameters: c 3 10
8

m
s
: t
0
10
7
s : v 0.99 c :
Pertinent equations:
t
t
0
1
v
c

,
2

:
d v t : d 210.5m
========================================================================================
Physics 107 Problem 1.8
The Apollo 11 spacecraft that landed on the moon in 1969 traveled there at a speed relative to the earth of
1.08x10
4
m/s. To an observer on the earth, how much longer than his own day was a day on the spacecraft?
This is another time dilation problem. We are given a relative velocity. We are given a time interval t
0
of one day
on the spacecraft moving relative to an observer. We want to find the dilated time t measured by the observer.
Let's define our variables first, so I don't have to make the time dilation equation into text and then later on
re-enter it as an equation.
We don't need to worry about units
here because velocities have same units.
c 3 10
8
: v 1.08 10
4
:
t
0
1 : The time here is in days, so my answer t
will be in days.
t
t
0
1
v
2
c
2

## : This is the equation for t.

Below I will type "t=" to see the
There are not enough digits to show any effect. Below I will type "t=" again and then type "f"
t 1
t 1.000000000648 Click on the number and select Math, Numerical Format to see that I picked a
precision of 12 to display t.
The problem asks how much longer t is than t, so I'd better calculate t-t
0
.
t t
0
6.48 10
10
days
or t t
0
( ) 24 3600 5.599 10
5

5
L
0
L
1
v
c

,
2

:
L
0
1.625 meters
========================================================================================
Physics 107 Problem 1.19
How much time does a meter stick moving at 0.1c relative to an observer take to pass the observer? The meter
stick is parallel to its direction of motion.
The relative speed is v: c 3 10
8
: m/s v 0.1 c : L
0
1 :
We need to solve for the contracted length L, and then determine how long it takes to travel this
length at a speed of 0.1*c.
L L
0
1
v
c

,
2
: L 0.995
The equation d=vt still works in relativity, so we can solve it for t:
t
L
v
: t 3.317 10
8
seconds
========================================================================================
Physics 107 Problem 1.17
An astronaut whose height on the earth is exactly 6 ft is lying parallel to the axis of a spacecraft moving at
0.9c relative to the earth. What is his height as measured by an observer in the same spacecraft? By an
observer on earth?
An observer in the same spacecraft, at rest relative to the astronaut, measures the proper length, 6 ft, of
the astronaut.
If the astronaut were lying perpendicular to the velocity vector of the spacecraft, the observer on earth
would also measure his proper length. But with the astronaut parallel to the direction of relative motion,
the observer on earth measures a contracted length.
Define parameters, then do calculation.
L
0
6 : c 1 : v 0.9 c :
L L
0
1
v
c

,
2
: L 2.615 feet
========================================================================================
Physics 107 Problem 1.18
An astronaut is standing in a spacecraft parallel to its direction of motion. An observer on the earth finds that
the spacecraft speed is 0.6c and the astronaut is 1.3 m tall. What is the astronaut's height as measured in the
spacecraft?
Solution: this is just problem 1.17 but solving for L
0
Define parameters:
L 1.3 : c 1 : v 0.6 c :
6
That last equation looks "circular" (we already know tan=sin/cos) except that we can use our original angle to
calculate the numerator, and we can apply the length contraction equation to the denominator, because it
represents the component along the direction of relative motion.
L sin ( )
L cos ( )
: tan ( )
y
x
:
Let's let y be the projection of the antenna length perpendicular to the motion. When the spacecraft is in
motion, the antenna has a length L, a projection x=L cos() along the direction of motion, and a projection y=L
sin() perpendicular to the direction of motion. The angle is given by
except that you can't apply the length contraction formula to L
0
in order to calculate L, because the antenna
has a component of length perpendicular to the direction of motion which has not been contracted.
x L cos ( ) :
When the spacecraft is in motion, both L
0
and x
0
appear contracted to an observer on earth, and the angle
can be found from
x
0
L
0
cos
0
( ) :
Let L
0
be the length of the antenna when the spacecraft is at rest, and x
0
be the projection of the antenna
parallel to the direction of spacecraft travel when the spacecraft is at rest. Then when the spacecraft is at rest,
the angle of the antenna is found from
This problem is tricky because when the spacecraft moves, the projection of the antenna along the spacecraft
contracts, which means that the apparent length of the antenna also contracts. You have to be careful to take
both contractions into account. It also helps to have a drawing.
A spacecraft antenna is at an angle of 10 degrees relative to the axis of the spacecraft. If the spacecraft moves
away from the earth at a speed of 0.7c, what is the angle as seen from the earth? This problem is not assigned
or "testable" and the solution is included only for "interest."
Problem 1.21 Physics 107
========================================================================================
s
t
0
1.92 10
9

Physics 107 Problem 1.20
A meter stick moving with respect to an observer appears only 500 mm long to her. What is its relative
speed? How long does it take to pass her? The meter stick is parallel to its direction of motion.
L
0
1 : L 0.5 : c 3 10
8
: m/s
First we need to solve L L
0
1
v
c

,
2
: for relative speed v.
L
L
0

,
2
1
v
c

,
2
:
v
c

,
1
L
L
0

,
2
: v c 1
L
L
0

,
2
:
v 2.6 10
8
m/s
Time to pass observer: (I call it t
0

because the event is timed in the
observer's reference frame.
t
0
L
v
:
7
Let M be the initial mass of the ice, and let L be the latent heat of fusion, as above. The energy added to melt
the ice is ML. The mass equivalent of this energy is given in the statement of the problem as m=1 kg.
It takes 80 calories to melt a gram of ice, and a calorie is equivalent to 4.19 joules, so in SI units, it takes L=335.2
joules to melt a gram of ice, or 3.35x10
5
joules to melt a kilogram of ice.
A certain quantity of ice at 0 degrees C melts into water at 0 degrees C and in so doing gains 1 kg of mass.
What was its initial mass?
Problem 1.28 Physics 107
========================================================================================
f 6 10
11
f
5.4 10
6

c
2
: Then
Here's how the units work out: if you choose the mass to be 1 kg, the units on top are joules, and the m=1kg
times c
2
also gives joules in the denominator, so the result is a pure number, or fraction.
(SI units). c 3 10
8
: We need to use f
5.4 10
6

c
2
:
The total energy content of this kg of dynamite is mc
2
. The fraction is simply
6
J/kg when it explodes. What fraction of its total energy content is this?
tan ( )
L
0
sin
0
( )
L
0
cos
0
( ) ( ) 1
v
2
c
2

: tan ( )
L
0
sin 10 ( )
L
0
cos 10 ( ) ( ) 1
v
2
c
2

:
tan ( )
tan 10 ( )
1
v
2
c
2

: atan
tan 10 ( )
1
v
2
c
2

,
:
To solve, plug in values, and remember to convert angles to radians when you are using Mathcad.
c 1 : v 0.7 c :

0
10
2
360
:
atan
tan
0
( )
1
v
2
c
2

,

360
2
: 13.869 degrees
========================================================================================
Physics 107 Problem 1.27
8
divide by 2 and square both sides 0.25 1
v
2
c
2
: v
2
0.75 c
2
: v 0.866 c :
========================================================================================
Physics 107 Problem 1.30
How many joules of energy per kilogram of rest mass are needed to bring a spacecraft from rest to a speed of
0.9c?
Again, we use m c
2
mc
2
K + :
At a speed of 0.9c, m
m
1
v
2
c
2

: where v/c=0.9. c 3 10
8
: m 1 : v 0.9 c :
Solving for K gives K
mc
2

1
v
2
c
2

mc
2
: K 1.165 10
17
joules per kilogram.
========================================================================================
mc
2
M L : L 3.352 10
5
:
M m ( )
mc
2

( )
L
: M 1 ( ) 2.685 10
11
kg
Using the density of ice, you can calculate that this mass would require a block of ice 16.5 km long, 16.5 km wide,
and 1 km high. (Or about 10 miles by 10 miles by 0.6 miles high, if I remember my conversion factors correctly).
Yes, ice really does gain mass when it melts. Or rather, the energy that "goes into" the ice is manifested as mass.
Similarly, water would "lose mass" when it freezes. No, that's not the main reason why ice floats on water.
========================================================================================
Physics 107 Problem 1.29
At what speed does the kinetic energy of a particle equal its rest energy?
rest_energy mc
2
: KE m c
2
mc
2
:
When KE=rest_energy,
m c
2
mc
2
mc
2
: m c
2
2 m c
2
: m 2 m : I cancelled out the c
2
's.
m
1
v
2
c
2

2 m :
Cancel the m's and re-arrange: 1 2 1
v
2
c
2
:
9
c 3 10
8
:
2
=mc
2
+K and solve for v/c, you get an "unofficial" but extremely useful equation that
is sure easier to use than solving "by hand" every time. Make sure this equation is on your 3x5 card.
v
rel
c 1
1
1
K
rel
mc
2

,
2
: v
rel
1.644 10
8
m/s
Let's put the two answers side-by-side for comparison: v
cl
1.875 10
8
v
rel
1.644 10
8

Classically-calculated speeds are always too large, although the error is not significant for low speeds and
low energies.
========================================================================================
Physics 107 Problem 1.33
A particle has a kinetic energy 20 times its rest energy. Find the speed of the particle in terms of c.
Be lazy and use our "unofficial" equation (it's unofficial because it is derived, not fundamental).
v K m , ( ) c 1
1
1
K
mc
2

,
2
:
v 20 m c
2
m ,
( )
2.997 10
8

Expressed "in terms of c:" v 20 m c
2
m ,
( )
c
0.999 or v=0.999c
========================================================================================
========================================================================================
Physics 107 Problem 1.31
An electron has a kinetic energy of 0.1 MeV. Find its speed according to classical and relativistic mechanics.
Let's begin by converting MeV to mks units.
eV 1.602 10
19
: This converts eV to Joules MeV eV10
6
: This converts eV to MeV
Classical calculation.
We use our familiar equations of classical mechanics. K
cl
m
v
cl
2
2
:
m 9.109 10
31
: kg K
cl
0.1 MeV :
v
cl
2
K
cl
m
: v
cl
1.875 10
8
m/s
Relativistic calculation. K
rel
0.1 MeV :
10
========================================================================================
Setting MeV=1 above let me stick in my expression for me so that it looked like a unit.
W 0.294 MeV :
W m
e
c
2

1
1
2.4 10
8

( )
2
c ( )
2

1
1
1.2 10
8

( )
2
c ( )
2

1
1
1
1
1
]
:
m
e
0.511 MeV
c
2
:
To get the work in units of MeV, I could calculate the numbers out and convert joules
to eV to MeV. Or I could be clever and use the electron mass in energy units.
MeV 1 :
Remember E
f
-E
i
=[W
other
]
i-->f
from Phys. 23? W E
2
E
1
:
The work done on the electron is just the difference in the energies E at the two different velocities:
E
mc
2

1
v
2
c
2

: E m c
2
:
Solution: a body in motion has a total energy
How much work (in MeV) must be done to increase the speed of an electron from 1.2x10
8
m/s to 2.4x10
8
m/s?
Problem 1.35 Physics 107
========================================================================================
Mathcad made this solution very easy. If you're doing this "by hand," it will take several lines of algebra
and computations.
Doubling the speed does not increase KE by the classically-expected factor of 4, and the discrepancy is
larger as the speeds get greater.
K m
proton
0.8 c , ( )
K m
proton
0.4 c , ( )
7.319
K m
proton
0.4 c , ( )
K m
proton
0.2 c , ( )
4.417
m
proton
1.67 10
27
:
We could do this algebraically, without using the proton mass, but here it is for those who like numbers:
K m v , ( ) mc
2

1
1
v
2
c
2

,
: K m v , ( )
mc
2

1
v
2
c
2

mc
2
:
Here's another handy "unofficial" variant of our KE equation:
The speed of a proton is increased from 0.2c to 0.4c. (a) By what factor does its kinetic energy increase? (b)
The speed of the proton is again doubled, this time to 0.8c. By what factor does its kinetic energy increase
now?
Problem 1.34 Physics 107
11
The E in here is total energy; you are given proton KE. E
photon
2
E
proton
2
m
proton
c
2

_
,
2
:
this is p
2
c
2
for photon, which is equal to p
2
c
2
for photon p
2
c
2
E
proton
2
m
proton
c
2

_
,
2
:
both proton and photon have same momentum p E
proton
2
p
2
c
2
m
proton
c
2

_
,
2
+ :
E
photon
2
p
2
c
2
: E
2
p
2
c
2
mc
2

( )
2
+ :
What is the energy of a photon whose momentum is the same as that of a proton whose kinetic energy is 10
MeV?
Problem 1.42 Physics 107
========================================================================================
If the proton is moving with the speed of light, and the galaxy is 10
5
light years across, the observer will
say it takes 10
5
years (not 5 minutes) for the proton to cross the galaxy. The observer say "proton, your
time was way too short." The proton will say "observer, your distance across the galaxy was way too long.
Part (b). The proton's energy is about 10
19
eV, or 10
13
10
times its rest energy of
roughly 1000 MeV. This is one fast proton. We might as well use v
proton
might be off in the 10th decimal place or so. Double-check by calculating the proton's speed, if you don't
believe me.
You could be still more clever and express the proton mass in energy units (938 MeV/c
2
) and save
multiplying by c.
1.58
1.6 10
19

9.875 10
18
To get the energy in eV, use the conversion factor 1 eV=1.6x10
-19
joules:
E=1.58 joules E 1.67 10
27
5 60 , 10
5
365 24 3600 ,
( )
1.58
E m L , L
0
, ( )
L
0
m c
2

_
,
L
:
E
mc
2

L
0
L
:
E
mc
2
:
L
0
L
:
so that
Or we could be clever and note that
This equation lets us solve for v, and we could plug v into E=mc
2
. L L
0
1
v
c

,
2
:
Part (a). The only way for the proton to "think" it crosses the galaxy in 5 minutes is for the proton to see
the galaxy's length contracted:
In its own frame of reference, a proton takes 5 min to cross the Milky Way galaxy, which is about 10
5

light-years across. (a) What is the approximate energy of the proton in eV? (b) About how long would the
proton take to cross the galaxy as measured by an observer in the galaxy's frame of reference?
Problem 1.41 Physics 107
========================================================================================
12
========================================================================================
See lecture notes lect03.ppt for better "pencil-and-paper" version. p
electron
0.383
MeV
c
:
This answer has the factor of 1/c numerically embedded in the result. To see the answer expressed in units
of MeV/c, I have to multiply through by c. If you do this using pen and paper (see the student solutions
manual, available on reserve at the library), you will get the textbook answer "automatically."
p
electron
1.278 10
9

p
electron
1
1
v
electron
c

,
2

1
1
1
]
m
electron
v
electron
:
I have c defined above numerically as 3x10
8
.
When I combine symbolic and numerical
work, like I do here, Mathcad actually
divides by a c
2
to calculate the mass of the
electron. When I multiply by v=0.6c,
Mathcad "puts back" one of those "two"
c's I divided out. To get the answer in
"energy units" I have to put the other factor
of c back in "by hand." You won't
encounter this confusion on an exam.
v
electron
0.6 c : m
electron
0.511
MeV
c
2
:
If I use mass in "energy units" of MeV/c
2
and v in terms of c, the answer will come out in units of MeV/c,
because is unitless. Or you can work the problem in SI units and convert to "energy units."
p m v :
Find the momentum (in MeV/c) of an electron whose speed is 0.6c.
Problem 1.43 Physics 107
========================================================================================
E
photon
137 MeV :
E
photon
K
proton
m
proton
c
2
+

_
,
2
m
proton
c
2

_
,
2
:
m
proton
938
MeV
c
2

,
: K
proton
10 MeV :
here are the specific values for this problem:
E
photon
2
K
proton
m
proton
c
2
+

_
,
2
m
proton
c
2

_
,
2
:
E
proton
K
proton
m
proton
c
2
+ : K
proton
E
proton
m
proton
c
2
:
13
Physics 107 Problem 1.45
Find the momentum of an electron whose kinetic energy equals its rest energy of 511 keV.
First I'll do the algebra.
E
2
p
2
c
2
mc
2

( )
2
+ : p
2
c
2
E
2
mc
2

( )
2
: K E mc
2
:
E K mc
2
+ : p
2
c
2
K mc
2
+
( )
2
mc
2

( )
2
: p
K mc
2
+
( )
2
mc
2

( )
2

c
:
Now I'll plug in the numbers.
keV 1 : m
electron
511
keV
c
2
: K
electron
511 keV :
p
electron
K
electron
m
electron
c
2
+

_
,
2
m
electron
c
2

_
,
2

c
:
p
electron
885
keV
c
:
========================================================================================
Physics 107 Problem 1.44
Find the total energy and kinetic energy (in GeV) and the momentum (in GeV/c) of a proton whose speed is
0.9c. The mass of the proton is 0.938 GeV/c
2
.
Let's do the momentum first, because it is "like" the previous calculation.
GeV 1 : This definition just lets me include "GeV" in a problem as if I were writing the units by hand.
m
proton
0.938
GeV
c
2
: v
proton
0.9 c :
p
proton
1
1
v
proton
c

,
2

1
1
1
]
m
proton
v
proton
:
p
proton
1.937
GeV
c
:
E
proton
2
p
proton
2
c
2
m
proton
c
2

_
,
2
+ : E
proton
p
proton
2
c
2
m
proton
c
2

_
,
2
+ :
E
proton
2.152 GeV
I could have also used E=mc
2
, but I already had the Eproton equation available for cut and paste from
problem 42.
K
proton
E
proton
m
proton
c
2
: K
proton
1.214 GeV :
========================================================================================
14
p
2
c
2
E
2
E
0
2
: p
2 E
2
c
2
E
0
2
c
2
: p
E
2
c
2
E
0
2
c
2
:
p
3.5 GeV ( )
2
c
2
0.938 GeV ( )
2
c
2
: p 3.5
2
0.938
2

( )
GeV
c
: p 3.37
GeV
c
:
========================================================================================
Physics 107 Problem 1.48
Find the total energy of a neutron (m=0.940 GeV/c
2
) whose momentum is 1.2 GeV/c.
E
2
1.2
GeV
c

,
2
c
2
0.940
GeV
c
2
c
2

,
2
+ :
E
2
p
2
c
2
mc
2

( )
2
+ :
E
2
1.2 Gev ( )
2
0.940 GeV ( )
2
+ : E
2
1.2 ( )
2
0.940 ( )
2
+

1
]
GeV
2
:
E 1.2 ( )
2
0.940 ( )
2
+ GeV : E 1.52 GeV :
========================================================================================
========================================================================================
Physics 107 Problem 1.47
Find the speed and momentum (in GeV/c) of a proton whose total energy is 3.5 GeV.
First think: this proton's total energy is about 4 times its rest energy of 0.938 GeV, so the speed had
better be close to c. Let's do the algebra first, working across the line and then down to save paper.
E m c
2
: E E
0
:
E
E
0
:
1
1
v
2
c
2

E
E
0
:
1
v
2
c
2

E
0
E
:
1
v
2
c
2

E
0
E

,
2
:
v
2
c
2
1
E
0
E

,
2
: v
2
c
2
1
E
0
E

,
2

1
1
]
:
v c 1
E
0
E

,
2
: v c 1
0.938 GeV
3.5 GeV

,
2
: v 0.963 c :
To find the momentum, we can use this equation from the previous problem (no sense re-deriving here):
p
2
c
2
E
2
mc
2

( )
2
:
15
========================================================================================
See the student solution manual for a really handy algebra trick that eliminates the potential extraneous
root problem.
v 0.358 c : v c 1
1
1
62
874
+

,
2
:
v c 1
1
1
62 MeV
874
MeV
c
2
c
2

,
2
:
Those of you who observant will notice I quit making my equations
"live." This eliminates the glitch mentioned in problem 43. I'm just
using Mathcad as a symbolic text processor now.
v c 1
1
1
K
mc
2

,
2
:
Now that I have the mass (a bit less than that of a proton or neutron) I can use our handy unofficial
equation introduced in problem 31. There are other ways to get v--see the student solution manual.
m 874
MeV
c
2
: m
335
2
62
2

( )
MeV
2 62 c
2

: m
335
2
62
2

( )
MeV
2

2 62 MeV c
2

:
m
335
2 MeV
2
c
2
c
2
62
2
MeV
2

,
2 62 MeV c
2

: m
p
2
c
2
K
2

( )
2 K c
2

: 2 K m c
2
p
2
c
2
K
2
:
K
2
2 K m c
2
+ p
2
c
2
: K
2
2 K m c
2
+ mc
2

( )
2
+ p
2
c
2
mc
2

( )
2
+ :
K mc
2
+
( )
2
p
2
c
2
mc
2

( )
2
+ :
Makes me a bit nervous; any time you square an expression, you
run the risk of introducing an extraneous root. Let's see where this
takes us anyway.
Put E from the first equation into the second equation. E
2
p
2
c
2
mc
2

( )
2
+ : E K mc
2
+ :
Here are two equations that look like candidates to me:
You have two knowns and two unknowns. None of our equations contain one of the unknowns
expressed only in terms of the knowns. Looks like we are going to have to solve a system of equations.
A particle has a kinetic energy of 62 MeV and a momentum of 335 MeV/c. Find its mass (in MeV/c
2
) and
speed (as a fraction of c).
Problem 1.49 Physics 107
16
E 4.23 GeV : E 2
2
3.73
2
+
( )
GeV : E 2
2
GeV
2
3.73
2
GeV
2
+ :
E 2
2 GeV
2
c
2
c
2
3.73
GeV
c
2
c
2

,
2
+ : E p
2
c
2
mc
2

( )
2
+ : E
2
p
2
c
2
mc
2

( )
2
+ :
Part (b): mass is relativistically invariant, so we can use the mass from part (a) along with the new momentum.
m 3.73
GeV
c
2
:
m 4
2
1.45
2

GeV
c
2
: m
4
2
GeV
2

c
4
1.45
2
GeV
2

c
4
: m
4
2
GeV
2

c
4
1.45
2 GeV
2
c
2

c
2
:
m
2 E
2
c
4
p
2
c
2
: mc
2

( )
2
E
2
p
2
c
2
: E
2
p
2
c
2
mc
2

( )
2
+ :
m
E
2
c
4
p
2
c
2
:
Part (a):
(a) Find the mass (in GeV/c
2
) of a particle whose total energy is 4 GeV and whose momentum is 1.45 GeV/c.
(b) Find the total energy of this particle in a reference frame in which its momentum is 2 GeV/c.
Problem 1.50 Physics 107
17

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